In 2008, an assemblage of world-famous architecture firms—including Foster + Partners, BIG, MVRDV and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, though the effort was spearheaded by Daniel Libeskind—colluded to produce a batch of sparkling utopian renderings for a pop-up city-within-a-city in Seoul, a $28B project slated to break ground in 2011 and wrap up by 2016. Plans for the Yongsan International Business District, a.k.a. "Dream Hub," included 12 commercial skyscrapers and seven residential complexes, plus parks, shopping malls, and hotels, all along the Han River waterfront. The crown jewel? Libeskind's "Dream Tower," a glassy swoop that would have been the world's second-tallest building, standing 165 meters short of Dubai's Burj Khalifa.
While the schemata for Korea's Dream Hub are, for better or for worse, much more tame and a lot less, err, phallic than other proposals for pop-up cities in the region, lately it seems the Yongsan International Business District has slide into pipe-dream territory. The developers are reportedly facing bankruptcy, having defaulted on a major loan repayment amid the real estate drop-off in 2008 and 2009. It's possible the project will rally, as Business Insider is calls the project's collapse "still speculative, as it is unclear how the next round of loans that are to mature in June will fare." Whether or not this starchitect-kissed utopia will actually be a thing, the crazy renderings are still worth a look:
? Libeskind's 'Dancing Towers,' three 41-story residential buildings.
? MVRDV's curiously controversial "pixelated cloud" building.
? Cross # Towers, a residential development by BIG.
? Block H hotel and residence, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF).
? In all, Dream Hub would have boasted 66 buildings, including 19 skyscrapers.
? The apartments of one of the renderings.
· The Plans For Korea's Futuristic 'Dream' City Are Pretty Far Out [Business Insider]
· 'Dream Hub' Yongsan Development in Seoul, South Korea [Design Boom]
· The uncertain future of Seoul, Korea's 'Dream Hub' [Arch Daily]
· All South Korea coverage [Curbed National]